It has been an interesting year for UK businesses and the immortal lyrics of The Jackson Five certainly ring true… “Don’t blame it on the sunshine, don’t blame it on the moonlight, don’t blame it on good times, blame it on the BREXIT!”
A slightly abstract introduction to the topic of logistics, but the parallels are there to be seen. One single thing becomes the catchall for all the ills of an industry and a way of placing all of the challenges and failings of a business in one “Pandora’s Box”.
If you are a business which is struggling and putting it solely down to “The Brexit”, then you are in all likelihood only kidding yourself! The one thing for certain is that things will change and anticipating and coping with that change is key to the success of all businesses. I have referred to “Lazy logistics” in the past and it is a topic that is very dear to Pallite and the positive sign over the past twelve months is that it is increasingly recognised for decisionmakers across the globe.
Dealing with Change
The majority of people struggle with change, with the main reason potentially being that change brings that risk of things getting worse and nobody likes “worse”. If you have been perfectly happy with your supply chain, then does that mean that you have the best you could have? Of course, it doesn’t. But in the same way that it is unlikely that an IT Director will get challenged for choosing Microsoft, you are unlikely to get have your job at risk by sticking to what you have always done… unless legislation or a key strategic directive kicks in.
In Olympic year, the buzz words of “marginal gains” have been ringing in the ears of every Team GB sports person and a good portion of the success achieved in Brazil has been put down to the true focus that was given to getting the best from every aspect of every event. A simple notion that can be applied to business and specifically to your logistics. The seven points below are here for your consideration and to ensure that you do not fall under the spell of believing that if you suffer damages and there is a broken pallet in sight – that is all down to the pallet, regardless as to whether it is wood, plastic metal or paper. I think your concern should be that if the pallet has been damaged, then how is your product being treated and you should review the whole process.
Seven “not so deadly” things to consider.
1) How often do you review your choice of pallet / pallet supplier?
If the answer is “never” or more than 12 months ago, then perhaps it should make it onto your annual process review… assuming you have one.
2) Do you use only one type of pallet for ease?
If the answer is “Yes”, then are you just taking the easy option? Different pallets are more suitable in different circumstances and “ease” could easily reflect inefficiency.
3) Do you have any injury / sickness at work that could be attributed to your pallet choice?
In 2015, there were 4.5million days lost to workplace injury in the UK. Unnecessarily heavy pallets, injury from nails and splinters and general handling techniques all contribute to this amazing statistic.
4) Does the weight of your pallet impact on your costs?
A lightweight pallet can easily save you in excess of 20KG per pallet. This is significant enough for road transport costs and maximum load / tailgate limits can be reached and lead to trucks travelling with spaces empty, but for airfreight it can be far simpler and you can just be wasting money by putting your product on a heavy solution.
5) Do you apply a one-size fits all approach to your palletisation?
We would not try to just use a 7 iron for a full round of golf nor drive in one gear for a lap at Le Mans, so are you transporting inefficiently by transporting empty space. Is it one product placed in the middle of a UK standard pallet, where perhaps using two half pallets on a slave pallet will improve efficiency. Pallite® can make a pallet to fit your needs.
6) Could you double stack and half your journeys?
Full loads are often sent in a single stack. What about considering using a box that can afford you the opportunity to double stack and half the number of trips. The right pallet box combination can mean that your vehicle can be used more efficiently.
7) Are you concerned about sustainability and your carbon footprint?
If you aren’t, then you really should be. Those of us of a certain age are very proud of the fact that we now recycle our tins, but the reality is that we are now in the era of “The Millennials” and the decision makers of today and the future not only understand what “carbon footprint” means, but it is something that they are rightly passionate about. It is often easier for us to get our head around the impact if translated into something we can comprehend.
So take this example:-
Save 20KG per pallet using a Pallite® and send only 4 pallets a week on a 5000 mile flight. In a single year you will have saved CO2 equivalent to running two medium sized cars for the full year or have planted 16 new trees. If ever a case for “marginal gains”, then surely this is it!
So make the change
The change itself need not be a material one, it need only be one that involves people making conscious decisions as opposed to “doing as you always have”. If you apply that approach, then you have definitely ticked off at least one of the Seven Deadly Sins and SLOTH may be not be the only one. Well I suppose you can always blame it on Brexit!
THE ALTERNATIVE PALLET COMPANY LTD
Tel: 01933 283920